Personal Reflection: My Marine Corps Experience Essay

The interesting aspect of the Thrive text and the weekly sections is that somehow many of the lessons provided were things I either had my parents teach me, I learned from my life experiences or l’ve absorbed from academics and mentors. I chose to pick out the three sections that I felt are prevalent currently and in my near future. Many civilians, especially extended family and friends, have no way of comprehending the level of life experiences I have had in the Marine Corps. I would not have been the same person or had the same level of experiences and responsibilities if I had not chosen to join the military.

This does not mean that I think I am better or I have gone through more challenges than my peers, however my point is that the majority of my peers have not experienced the level of danger and immense responsibility for other people’s lives or millions of dollars of equipment. That being said, I have been living almost nine years in this heighten state which makes me very intense and rigid. It has made me so disconnected from lessons I already know and much explained in Thrive. What this course and readings have provided me with is remembering the basics so I can flourish in my life.

Most importantly, remembering that I do not have to live in the state that I am so comfortable with, but to only live in the familiar mindset at the appropriate time. Sleep Your Way to the Top (Page 74) I chose this section because sleep is a challenge for me. It never used to be a challenge, however every since the military, I have never felt like I have gotten good or sufficient amount of sleep. The funny part about all this is that the same week I read this section in Thrive, was the same week my Therapist decided to do a session on sleep.

I see a mental health specialist for my PTSD and other issues related to my military service. My nightmares, my service connected joint injuries and my heightened awareness disrupt my sleep daily. The nightmares | can deal with, however my shoulder, hip and groin lifelong joint injuries are what keep me restless at night. In addition, my heightened awareness is always on alert. I am the type of guy who wakes up if he hears a rock move or sound that aren’t orga nic to the house. I have chosen to not take medication for the pain or sleep.

I am doing my best to remedy this challenges with physical therapy, mental health therapy and other holistic remedies. I would say for the most part, I am slowly improving and headed in the right direction. I know that I will have to work on this for the rest of my life so that’s why I am trying to establish good practices now. My therapist mentioned many of the important aspects of sleep that Arianna does in her book. The text mentions, sleep affects our mood, how we process information and our overall health.

Duke University has found that poor sleep is associated with higher stress levels and greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. ” (p. 75) Harvard has even linked poor sleeping habits with poor work performances. This is prevalent in my life because I have been working on for years to properly re-enter the civilian world. The lack of sleep has negatively affected my mood and performance. My poor sleep practices have what made it difficult for me to react to situations appropriately and to see things in multiple dimensions.

I am on the path of entering the corporate world as business analysis where I will be a leader, reacting to situations to create solutions in addition to being an effective communicator so I can bridge the gaps. This is why I think sleeping my way to the top is a crucial section to my success and lesson I should not forget when I become immersed in work. Walk This Way (Page 94) Arianna brings up many important aspects of how walking can positively affect our lives personally and professionally. This was an aha moment. It makes total sense that going for a walk increases thinking and focus.

When we are walking, we are getting the blood pumping and flowing throughout our body. Our breathing rate will increase allowing more oxygen to the brain. I have noticed that often, my wife and I will go on long walks when we need to talk. Most of the time if we suggest a walk its not because we need to work something out, however the walk is more used as a time to exchange creative ideas or strategies. For example, we have a couple house project that must be knocked out very soon. We need a new fence and we need to redo our shower since it is getting old and falling apart.

We have been going on walks with our dogs to brainstorm ideas and to discuss a budget. According to the text, walking allows our body’s universe to become calm and increasing the capability of processing information clearly. I think I am going to use her tactic when I start my new job as a business analyst. The job will require many meetings daily and brainstorming of solutions. Going out for a walk will allow myself or colleagues to disengage from technology and the noise. Arianna explains that sometimes we just need to step away and recharge so we can think clearly and perform effectively.

This also reminds me when I was in massage therapy school and I took Thai Massage. Before we started every class the teacher would have us go outside to do a fifteen-minute walking meditation. At first | thought it was strange to be expected to meditate while walking, however after a couple times, I saw the purpose. Now that I read this section, I can understand the wide variety of benefits. I am going to make sure l implement walking more in my personal and professional life. Hello, Silence, My Old Friend (Page 188)

Before I joined the Marine Corps, I had been doing year round swimming for twelve years. From Junior High through all of High School, I was swimming six hours a day because I was on the national travel team for USA Swimming. Silence is my old friend, although I am working hard on mending the past relationship. Competition aside, when I was at swim practice, it was my time of silence. Sure we had our coach yelling out the workouts and the occasional talking between teammates, but most of the time my head was in the water to be left along to my own thinking and peace.

Believe it or not, when you have been swimming for so long, you often are on autopilot. There are many times where I was swimming twenty or fifty laps non-stop allowing myself to just get lost in my universe. I would think about my day, what I needed to do for the week and sometimes I would just clear my mind and think of nothing. It was the prefect type of silence. All that was lost once I joined the military. There was never any silence unless it was on deployment but that’s a different kind of silence. The section expresses that silence is about disengaging.

My favorite line from this section is, “We are wired, plugged in, constantly catered to, and increasingly terrified of silence, unaware of what it has to offer. ” (p. 188) She is absolutely right. We have become so plugged in. We are even pressured from outside influences to constantly be linked up. I also saw the connection of how the constant noise could impede our ability to listen to others. This reminds me of when I am trying to have a conversation with an individual who is messing around on their mobile device. They are not engaged and not fully listening.

This type of situation usually involves poor feedback or having to repeat the information. It also makes people not feel valued when we are plugged into everything other than the person who is communicating with you. The text mentions the same concept for ourselves. We have to allow ourselves to not be plugged in 24/7. We deserve the silence and attention our body needs. Like Arianna says, we must leave room and allow our inner journey. Take Home Message There are many tools and life lessons provided in Thrive that can be of immense help in our personal and professional lives.

What I need to do is remember these tools and lessons. To make sure I do not get distracted from the basics. Just like anything we do in life, it helps to always touch base and review. I know this is something I will have to do especially when I become consumed in my new profession. I should make a point of keeping this text somewhere I can see it daily. The take-home message for the whole course is to value life, value relationships and to value ourselves. To value life is to understand there is more to life than what we see on the surface or what is considered success in society.

We are the ones who determine what is success in our lives, no one else. Valuing relationships is more than loving them. Its about being empathic, truly listening to them and being loving and supportive despite the differences. Most importantly, this course embodied the relevance of how valuing ourselves can improve the well-being our health, relationships and life. There is a reason why I took this course and why I waited to take this right before I graduate Ever since I entered and exited the Marine Corps, I have been struggling in my relationships.

Establishing my growth in relationships is very important to me. I have been working hard to bounce back from the damage I’ve done and to my bad habits turn into healthy habits. Like I mentioned in the introduction, these are lessons that I was raised on and taught. Unfortunately, I got lost and knock of track, which made me forget who I was and use to be. I feel that I still have work to do, although I am back on track. I am ready to thrive and have successful relationships.